July 4, 1965 | Location: Philadelphia, US | Photographer unstated | The Mattachine Society and The Equality Forum/Associated Press | 15167
Fifty years ago a small demonstration took place for gay rights, in Philadelphia. It was one of the first actions of the modern gay rights movement.
About 40 protesters calling for equality gathered in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia on July 5, 1965.
Seen as an incredibly bold and courageous move by the standards of the day,1965 was when homosexuals were legally barred from US government jobs and could be arrested for engaging in consensual intimate acts even in the privacy of their own homes. The American Psychiatric Association still classified being gay as a disease that could be treated with chemical castration or lobotomy.
“Fifty years ago, America perceived us as degenerates,” said Malcolm Lazin, who organized the anniversary events. “One of the many goals of the gay pioneers was to demonstrate that we are first class American citizens.”